10 Ways to Celebrate Canada Day During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With limits on large gatherings still in effect across most of the country, Canada Day celebrations are going to look a little different this year. Here are some inspired ways to show off your national pride—while social distancing—on July 1, 2020.

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Celebrate Canada Day online - couple look at tablet
Photo: Shutterstock

Take your Canada Day celebrations online

As much as we love our country, we all know how unpredictable the weather can be. If you shift your Canada Day celebrations online, you’re guaranteed to stay comfy, dry and bug bite-free! The Government of Canada will be hosting a series of Canada Day events over social media, and you can enjoy live-streaming concerts such as Collingwood, Ontario’s Peak to Shore from the comfort of your living room.

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Canada Day activities - hiking in Kananaskis country
Photo: Travel Alberta/Johannes Hulsch

Get back to nature on Canada Day

Canada is a land blessed with many natural wonders, and if ever there was a time to check an outdoor adventure off your bucket list, it’s now. Canada’s most-visited National Parks are now open—with restrictions in place, so be sure to check in before heading out. While there are many great hikes across Canada, venturing off the beaten path often delivers the biggest payoff. Hikes in Alberta’s Kananaskis region (above) boast views that are just as spectacular as the more heavily-travelled Banff, for example.

Get inspired by these 50 gorgeous parks across Canada.

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Canada Day staycation at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Rooftop Pool
Photo: Fairmont Pacific Rim

Treat yourself to a swish Canada Day staycation

Though travelling to other countries isn’t advisable at the moment, there are still plenty of in-province opportunities for dream vacations. Nothing says summer like a fabulous pool, and the palm tree-lined rooftop pool at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim makes a luxe getaway for locals. Take advantage of this urban resort’s discounted room rates for residents. Meanwhile in Toronto, The St. Regis is offering 20 per cent off weekend escapes.

Check out more of Canada’s greatest hotels.

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Canada Day activities - butter tart pie recipe
Photo: dinnerwithjulie.com

Cook up some authentic Canadian cuisine

One of the best ways to explore a culture is through its food, so why not add some of these classic Canadian dishes to your Canada Day menu? For a twist on the traditional butter tart, try Canadian food writer Julie Van Rosendaal’s recipe for ooey-gooey butter tart pie—a sweet treat to round off a day of celebrations.

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Canada Day activities - Flying the flag at Heritage Park, Calgary
Photo: Heritage Park

Step back in time at Heritage Park

The hottest ticket in Calgary this Canada Day is Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living history museum. Spread across 127 acres, there’s plenty of space to safely explore this historical village brimming with heritage homes, a steam train and live street theatre performances. You’re welcome to picnic at the park, but even if you pack the basics, you’ll still want to buy one of their legendary cinnamon buns on-site. Be sure to dress in red and white—and wear a face mask!

Check out more unforgettable things to do in Calgary on your next vacation.

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Canada Day activities - rent a fishing boat
Photo: Shutterstock

Hit the open water

Even if the beaches are closed in your neck of the woods, there’s still plenty of open water to explore—provided you’ve got a boat, of course. Whether you’re looking for a simple fishing boat, a swanky sailboat or even just a stand up paddleboard, the GetMyBoat app can hook you up with rentals in your area. If you’re going to be in our country’s capital on Canada Day, consider cruising along the Rideau Canal in a luxury houseboat—no previous boating experience necessary!

More of a landlubber? Here are 10 Canadian road trips everyone should take at least once.

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Dawson City Canada Day Parade
Photo: Dawsoncity.ca

Dawson City’s Canada Day Parade

Home of the Klondike gold rush, Dawson City has always gone all-out for Canada Day, and this year is no exception. In addition to the traditional raising of the flag and speeches by local officials, this Yukon gem is going ahead with their annual parade in 2020. Of course, adjustments are to be expected in light of COVID-19, and this time around, the parade of emergency vehicles will snake its way through the small city so folks can cheer from the safety of their own homes.

Did you know Dawson City is also one of the top 20 places to spend Christmas in Canada?

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Canada Day activities - Letterkenny on Crave marathon
Photo: Courtesy of Bell Media

Binge-watch a Canadian classic

Sheltering in place is the perfect opportunity to soak up some Canadian culture. Mark the date for a Can-con marathon, and lose yourself in homegrown gems from Anne With an E to SCTV. After you (finally!) get caught up with that Schitt’s Creek finale, it’s time to get acquainted with the residents of Letterkenny (above). Will we judge if you end up spending the holiday glued to your screen? Hard no!

Embrace our national quirkiness with these TV shows that could only have been made in Canada.

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Canada Day activities - child waving Canada flag
Photo: Shutterstock

Plan a backyard bash for Canada Day

Bring your bubble together for a budget-friendly barbecue in your own backyard. In lieu of decorations, focus on the tunes (we’ve got your great Canadian playlist covered) and trivia (how well do you know your Canadian slang?). The Government of Canada has even come out with a series of do-it-yourself celebration kits to help you mark the occasion.

Here are 20+ things you wouldn’t think to grill—but should!

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Canada Day activities - mix the perfect Caesar cocktail
Photo: Maude Frédérique Lavoie/Unsplash

Perfect the art of the Caesar

Say cheers to 153 years with a well-made Caesar, Canada’s national cocktail. While vodka, clamato juice and worcestershire might sound an unlikely combination, it’s a source of Canadian pride that Caesars are vastly superior to the Bloody Marys you’ll find south of the border. Those in B.C. wanting to get out and sip something softer are in luck, as many craft breweries and cideries have opened up their tasting rooms. Likewise, several stops on Nova Scotia’s Good Cheer Trail will be open for business by July 1.

In case the celebrations get out of hand, here’s the best hangover remedy from every province.

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